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UMD Baltimore and College Park campuses announce joint ventures

University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace D. Loh, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret and University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay A. Perman at Greenbelt Metro Station Sept. 13, 2016. (Daniel Leaderman/The Daily Record.)

University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace D. Loh, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret and University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay A. Perman, shown at a September 2013 event. (Daniel Leaderman/The Daily Record.)

The University of Maryland announced five new joint programs as part of the MPowering the State partnership between the Baltimore and College Park campuses.

Last year, the state legislature passed the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016, codifying the strengthening relationship between the two campuses.

The university announced Thursday five programs that it hopes will be sustainable through external funding sources. It will continue to announce new joint programs every year as part of the partnership.

“We know that our biggest breakthroughs happen at the intersections – the intersection of investigators, disciplines, and institutions – and I look forward to seeing how these extraordinary teams invent new solutions to some of the most intractable challenges we face today,” said Jay Perman, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The programs the university announced cover social issues, technology and health care.

“This partnership is changing lives across the state, and these new collaborations will extend that impact,” said Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland, College Park. “To address large societal problems, we are expanding faculty collaborations across departments and schools at both campuses.”

The five programs announced are:

  • The Maryland Blended Reality Center, focusing on virtual and augmented reality and developing new uses for the technology, including possibilities in clinical data, biomedical and patient care;
  • The Opioid Use Disorders project will approach the state’s opioid epidemic from the expertise of both campuses;
  • The Health Informatics and Data Science partnership will combine College Park’s information science programs with Baltimore’s health information programs by creating a specialization for health informatics within the information science program;
  • The Center of Excellence in Cochlear Implants will bring together College Park’s Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences and the University of Maryland School of Medicine for more research on cochlear implants; and
  • The Policing Partnership will look to improve relationships between local police departments and their communities.

The campuses also announced the establishment of the Center for Maryland Advanced Ventures and the University of Maryland Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Development. Both centers will look to create more entrepreneurs out of the research developed in the MPowering the State partnership.

Jim Hughes, vice president and chief enterprise and economic development officer for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, will lead the Center for Maryland Advanced Ventures, based in Baltimore. One of the center’s responsibilities will include helping university-affiliated startups from across the state relocate to Baltimore.

Mary Ann Rankin, senior vice president and provost at the University of Maryland, College Park, will lead the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Development, based in College Park. This center will focus on education and research in neuroscience, virtual and augmented reality, biomedical devices, data analytics and cybersecurity.

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